Hong Kong police chief ‘saddened’ by conviction of seven officers in Occupy assault case
In a letter to colleagues in the force, Stephen Lo Wai-chung says he understands their ‘frustration’
Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung has said he is “saddened” by the verdict on seven officers who were convicted of assaulting an activist during the Occupy protest.
In a letter to colleagues on Wednesday, Lo said: “The force’s senior management and I fully understand the frustration and disappointment that some of you are feeling.”
In his first remarks on the seven officers who were found guilty on Tuesday of kicking and punching activist and former Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, Lo also said: “I believe that all of us were saddened ... on learning of the verdict given ... at the District Court.”
He added: “However we must bear in mind that Hong Kong is governed by the rule of law, and our judicial system has an established appeal mechanism.”
He also said management was in touch with the staff association, while the personnel wing was liaising with the officers and their families to provide “the best possible assistance and support”.
Junior Police Officers’ Association chairman Joe Chan Cho-kwong said the association welcomed Lo’s remarks,which were a boost to the morale of officers at the frontline.
He said they respected the appeal mechanism, which provided a channel for people to challenge a sentence from a lower court.
“If our colleagues decide to file appeals, the association will back them up as best as we can,” Chan said.
In a statement on Tuesday, the association said some colleagues had found the judgment unfair and unjust.
The seven policemen will be sentenced on Thursday.
Their defence lawyers asked for a suspended jail sentence, citing the extraordinary circumstances of the protests as a key mitigating factor.